Wave offers a compelling platform for personal learning environments because it provides a single location for collecting information from diverse sources while accommodating a variety of formats.
By embedding mini-applications and other components, Wave makes interactive coursework a possibility for nontechnical students, moving larger numbers of students away from purely text-based assignments and into multimedia composition. Because groups can conduct real-time joint review not only of documents but also of multimedia presentations, Wave opens new avenues for critique of engineering projects, architectural designs, musical performance,or any discipline that benefits from peer or expert review.
Instructors, using the playback function, could see how waves were built, step-by-step, and draw inferences about the thinking behind and evolution of student projects. Wave might also change how knowledge is created, stored, and shared. If adopted by professionals, it could provide an accessible way to model disciplinary thinking and processes with students.
Whether Google Wave replaces existing applications, it likely will move communication from text alone into a wider environment more in tune with the variety of options we have come to expect from Web 2.0 technologies that enrich the human exchange of ideas.